February 7, 2018
MINIMAL CAREGIVING = MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY
Jonathan needs to help his mother who was recently hospitalized; consequently, he is unable to attend rehearsal today. He requests that Mandy and Lorena run his piece to mentally cement the choreography and build stamina – if time and kiddie demands allow, of course!
Snowy/icy conditions result in arrival delays for the dancers. Before long, though, Lorena and Mandy are engaged in separate ballet-based warm ups.
Meanwhile, Sebastian starts drawing and loves showing his creations to mom. It looks like the pleasure of drawing is eclipsed by clicking the pen and crunching the paper!
Despite her reservations about Sebastian spending too much time in front of a screen, Lorena decides to put on a movie for Sebastian to watch. As a result, the ladies are able to focus intently on their work.
Starting with Lorena’s piece, Mandy and Lorena mark the first section, self-correcting some timing and spacing as they go.
Next, they run it with complete movements, but not yet full out.
Lorena has mentally made several notes, based on the first 2 run throughs of section 1. She takes Mandy through the entire piece again, highlighting the areas she would like to adjust or refine:
The dancers run through section 1 again, incorporating these changes. Watching the video of this run through, Lorena wonders whether the back and forth sequence is visually interesting enough. She also notices where she needs to adjust the position of her head and suggests that she and Mandy try to establish eye contact wherever possible.
Mandy now runs through section 2, her solo, as Lorena observes. Lorena compliments Mandy on the quality of her dancing and notes that her timing is just right. She also offers a few suggestions:
Lorena and Mandy move on to section 5. Lorena repeatedly plays the music as she creates choreography in her head, then tests it out. Meanwhile, Mandy practices her part in this section. Lorena then brings Mandy into the process to figure out how to execute a choreographic change in a key phrase that is repeated. Lorena demonstrates sharp arm and leg movements in intricate patterns performed at a rapid pace.
One person dances this repeating phrase while the other person executes a series of chaînés turns. The dancers then switch parts. Lorena works on the timing until it corresponds precisely to the beat of the music.
Following a food break and diaper change, the dancers work on Mandy’s piece. First, Lorena marks through the choreography, working out technical details, while Mandy watches. Mandy clarifies the starting position and location she wants and advises Lorena to keep her head aligned with her spine. As Lorena runs through the dance again, she notes how different her natural way of moving is from the style Mandy is seeking. Therefore, Lorena asks Mandy for very specific instructions to help her execute the movements in accordance with Mandy’s vision.
Mandy then teaches Lorena a new phrase.
With the intention of working on dynamics, Mandy discusses with Lorena nearly each pose of the dance. She clarifies which movements should be sharp and forceful to contrast with the choreography that is smoother and softer. The dancers also review timing, a particularly tricky element since there is no music (at least not yet).
Mandy and Lorena experiment together to capture the precise details of 3 phrases in particular:
In the blink of an eye, it is time to wrap up, so the ladies are unable to rehearse Jonathan’s piece.
The dancers are very pleased with the high level of productivity achieved today. There is no question that Sebastian’s absorption in the movie allowed Lorena and Mandy to drill down deeply into the technical and artistic details of the dances. Minimal caregiving=maximum productivity!
Sherri Muroff Kalt, founder of Process Portraits, LLC and author of Portrait of an Artistic Journey: The Creative Process in Real Life Context, is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology. She began her career in marketing and sales in New York City with L’Oréal, Monet Jewelers, and Givenchy. READ MORE